Chicken Enchiladas With Three Peppers & A Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 14 enchiladas
Author Eva Kosmas Flores


Enchilada Sauce (adapted from All Recipes)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 dried arbol chilies or cayenne peppers
  • 11 dried ancho aka poblano or new mexico chilies
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Chicken & Bell Pepper Enchilada Filling

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 red bell pepper diced


  • 14 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro diced


  1. Begin by making the enchilada sauce. Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, dried arbol, and dried ancho chilies and stir so that they're coated in the oil. Allow to continue to cook in the oil until the onions become translucent and the peppers soften, about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Stir in the water, tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until the tomato chunks have mostly disintegrated, about 45 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the mixture in a blender or food processor. Pour the enchilada sauce back into the pot and set aside.
  2. Now you can begin preparing the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Rub the spices and herbs onto the two chicken breasts, coating them in spices. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and pan fry until cooked through, (about 10 minutes on each side, but cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breast). Once completely cooked, remove from the pan and allow to cool until it's warm enough to handle. Then tear the chicken breasts into small strips and toss them with the queso fresco and red bell pepper. Set aside.
  3. This is the part where it gets a little messy, and that's totally okay. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour enough enchilada sauce into (2) pans to just cover the bottom of the pan (there should be about 1/2 inch of sauce at the bottom). Take a tortilla and dip it in the enchilada sauce so that it is completed coated, then lay it flat on a working surface. Lay a small handful of the chicken filling in a line that goes down the middle of the tortilla. Gently fold the flap on each side over the filling, flip the enchilada over (taking care not to spill the filling out the ends) and set it in the baking pan. Continue this process until all of the enchiladas have been assembled. Then, pour the remaining enchilada sauce over both pans and sprinkle the queso fresco over the tops of the enchiladas. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool for 15 minutes before plating. Garnish with the red onion and cilantro and serve immediately.